1. Family: Asphodelaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Aloe L.
      1. Aloe welmelensis Sebsebe & Nordal

        Aloe welmelensis has erect to creeping stems and is well adapted to living in dry, rocky habitats. Its flowers are scarlet and turned to one side of the inflorescence (flower stem). It has small spines along the margins of its fleshy leaves. Aloe welmelensis is collected by the inhabitants of the Welmel River valley for medicinal use.

    [KBu]

    Demissew, S., Friis, I., Awas, T. et al. Kew Bull (2011) 66: 111. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12225-011-9263-2

    Type
    Typus: Ethiopia, BA: along the Welmel River, Sodu Kebele, 20 km W off the main Goba – Dolo road at 94 km, 6°25.511'N 39°38.819'E, 1470 m, fl. & fr. 15 Dec. 2007, Sebsebe D., Tesfaye A. & Nordal 6655 (holotypusETH!;isotypus K!).
    Habit
    Caulescent and forming groups
    Stem
    Stem erect to decumbent, 30 – 60 cm long, 1.8 – 2 cm in diam. Roots hairy
    Leaves
    Leaves scattered along the stem, 10 – 18, lax, arranged in 2 – 5 turns along the stem, greyish green, not spotted, 30 – 50 × 2 – 4 cm, surface smooth; marginal teeth obsolete, to 1 mm long, white, reddish-tipped, 3 – 5 mm apart or 15 – 17 per 10 cm length; exudate drying yellow
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence 1 or 2, 50 – 80 cm long, with 1 or 2, rarely 4 – 6 racemes; raceme cylindrical, 15 – 30 cm long, lax, with 1 or 2 flowers/cm
    Stamens
    Stamens exserted 1 – 4 mm long
    Flowers
    Flowers secund
    Bracts
    Bracts white, ovate-acuminate, 4 – 5 × 2.5 mm
    Pedicel
    Pedicel 6 – 7 mm long
    Perianth
    Perianth bright scarlet, paler to almost white towards mouth, 28 – 32 mm, base slightly swollen, truncate, 6 – 7 mm in diam.; outer perianth parts free for a length of 10 – 12 mm
    Fruits
    Young fruits 17 – 20 mm long.
    Distribution
    Known only from along the Welmel River in Bale floristic region, Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. Map 1.
    Ecology
    Vertical rock faces, edges of rocky valleys and on outcrops along rivers; 1050 – 1500 m.
    Conservation
    Critically Endangered (CR), based on EOO (25 km2); Endangered, based on AOO (12 km2 based on 2 × 2 grid cell). Seemingly restricted to habitats near one river, the species is unlikely to occur in the surrounding vegetation types.
    Phenology
    Flowering and fruiting in December.
    Vernacular
    Hargeissa (Oromiffa)
    Note
    Aloe welmelensis resembles A. tewoldei by having a similar decumbent habit. However, the new species differs from A. tewoldei by the marginal spines being white (not pinkish), obsolete to 1 mm long (not 2 mm long), flowers secund (not in all sides), perianth 30 – 32 mm long (not 20 mm long) and pedicel 5 – 7 mm long (not 12 mm long). The species epithet of Aloe welmelensis refers to the Welmel River, along which the species is distributed.
    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description
    Aloe welmelensis is a rare and threatened succulent plant species found only in one river valley in southern Ethiopia.

    Aloe welmelensis has erect to creeping stems and is well adapted to living in dry, rocky habitats. Its flowers are scarlet and turned to one side of the inflorescence (flower stem). It has small spines along the margins of its fleshy leaves. Aloe welmelensis is collected by the inhabitants of the Welmel River valley for medicinal use.

    Species Profile
    Geography and distribution

    Aloe welmelensis is known only from the margins of the Welmel River in the Bale floristic region of Oromia Regional State in Ethiopia. It has been recorded at 1,050-1,500 m above sea level.

    Description

    Aloe welmelensis grows in clumps and has woody stems. Each plant has 10-18 smooth, waxy-looking, grey-green, succulent leaves that are spirally arranged along the stem. The leaves are 30-50 cm long and 2-4 cm wide, with red-tipped  marginal spines up to 1 mm long. The inflorescence (flower stem) can reach 80 cm long and bear up to 50 flowers. Individual flowers are bright scarlet, tube-shaped, 28-32 mm long, but paler towards the tip, from which the stamens (male organs) emerge. They are carried on 5-7 mm long stalks and have a waxy appearance.

    Uses

    Sap from Aloe welmelensis is used to relieve pain due to ear infections. It has been reported that warming the leaves and putting them on affected parts can provide relief from headaches and rheumatism.

    This species at Kew

    Pressed and dried specimens of Aloe welmelensis are held in Kew's Herbarium, where they are available to researchers from around the world by appointment.

    Distribution
    Ethiopia
    Ecology
    Vertical rock faces, edges of rocky valleys and outcrops along rivers.
    Conservation
    Critically Endangered (CR) based on EOO (extent of occurrence). Endangered based on AOO (area of occupancy).
    Hazards

    None known.

    [KBu]
    Use
    Sap from leaves used to relieve pain from ear infection. Warming the leaves and putting them on affected parts is reported to help against headaches and rheumatism.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Ethiopia

    Common Names

    English
    Hargeissa

    Aloe welmelensis Sebsebe & Nordal appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Friis, I. [3736], Ethiopia K000204703

    First published in Kew Bull. 66: 117 (2011)

    Literature

    Kew Bulletin
    • Anderson, W. R. (2007). Reply to van Rijckevorsel’s Proposal to Suppress Selbyana vol. 23 Supplement. Taxon 56: 615 – 616.Google Scholar
    • Dioli, M. & McCoy, T. (2007). Aloe elkerriana (Asphodelaceae), a new Ethiopian species from the type locality of A. jacksonii. Haseltonia 13: 34 – 37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    • Higgins, W. E. & Benzing, D. H. (2007). Response to: Proposal to add Selbyana vol. 23 Supplement to the “opera utiqueoppressa” by Paul van Rijckevorsel. Taxon 56: 968 – 969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    • van Rijckevorsel, P. (2006). Proposal to add Selbyana vol. 23 Supplement to the “opera utiqueoppressa”. Taxon 55: 1053 – 1053.Cross RefGoogle Scholar
    • SebsebeDemissew, Nordal, I. & Stabbetorp, O. E. (2003). Flowers of Ethiopia and Eritrea: aloes and other lilies. Shama Books, Addis Ababa.Google Scholar
    • Atwood, J. T., Dalström, S. & Fernández, R. (2002). Phragmipediumkovachii. Selbyana 23 (suppl., preprint): 1 [10 June 2002].Google Scholar
    • Christenson, E. (2002). Phragmipediumperuvianum. Orchids 71: 620.Google Scholar
    • Newton, L. E. (2002). A new species of Aloe on the Ethiopia-Sudan Border. Haseltonia No. 9: 14 – 16.Google Scholar
    • SebsebeDemissew, Nordal, I. & Stabbetorp, O. E. (2001). Endemism and patterns of distribution of the genus Aloe (Aloaceae) in the Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Biol. Skr. 54: 233 – 246.Google Scholar
    • SebsebeDemissew & Dioli, M. (2000). A new Aloe (Aloaceae) species from Ogaden (Southeastern Ethiopia). Kew Bull. 55: 679 – 682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    • SebsebeDemissew & Gilbert, M. (2000). A new species of Aloe (Aloaceae) from SW Ethiopia. Kew Bull. 55: 683 – 686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
    • SebsebeDemissew & Gilbert, M. (1997). Aloaceae. In: S. Edwards, SebsebeDemissew & I. Hedberg (eds), Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea, Vol. 6: 117 – 135. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa & Uppsala.Google Scholar
    Kew Species Profiles
    • Demissew, S., Friis, I., Awas, T., Wilkin, P., Weber, O., Bachman, S. & Nordal, I. (2011). Four new species of Aloe (Aloaceae) from Ethiopia, with notes on the ethics of describing new taxa from foreign countries. Kew Bulletin 66: 111-121. Download article from Springerlink.

    Sources

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Bulletin
    Kew Bulletin
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0